Jennette’s Pier preparing to reopen, but still no date yet from the state

[JennettesPier.net image]

Like other state-owned museums and aquariums, Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head has remain shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And while the summer season has arrived on the Outer Banks, there is still no signs of when the popular attraction at Whalebone Junction can open its wooden gates and allow anglers and walkers back on.

Pier staff are now just waiting for a decision on an opening date from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and Governor Roy Cooper.

The pier and the three N.C. Aquariums were closed on March 17 as part of the governor’s executive orders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina.

They remained closed as the state moved into the “Safer at Home Phase 2” on May 22, which was the day after the ninth anniversary of the grand opening of the current concrete-and-wood pier that replaced the wooden structure built in 1939.

Gov. Cooper said at the time that it could be up to five weeks before North Carolina could move into Phase 3.

While state parks and historic sites have been allowed to open in some capacity, visitor centers and other indoor state-owned facilities have remained closed to the public.

Jennette’s Pier assistant director and public relations coordinator Daryl Law said he could not speculate on a date for when the pier can reopen, but that when it happens they are ready.

“There will be some new procedures that will be put in place when we reopen,” Law said.

Law could not discuss details about what that would entail, including if there will be capacity limits on the number of people allowed at one time on the pier that stretches 1,000 feet off the beach.

The popular on-site summer camp programs have already been cancelled for 2020 because of the uncertainties about when and how the pier can reopen.

But Law said the pier staff is excited about the virtual camps they have been able to create as an alternative. Details can be found at JennettesPier.net.

Along with the pier, retail space and restrooms inside the pier house, the bathhouse adjacent to the parking lot remains closed.

Portable toilets have been placed outside for now, and the showers are operating for beachgoers to utilize.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.

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